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ANDY DUNN: After 5 defeats on the spin, West Ham chiefs can’t have their cake and eat it

Date Posted,April 5, 2017

Shortly before kick-off against Arsenal, Lady Brady tweeted a picture of the sumptuous desserts and groaning cheeseboard in what was presumably the Emirates boardroom.

As you can imagine, it went down mouth-wateringly well with the West Ham faithful about to stomach a fifth Premier League loss on the spin.

The anger of @joey041992 was actually on the moderate end of the scale:

“It’s actually embarrassing, isn’t it? We are in dire s*** and all she’s interested in are the desserts.”

A replete Lady Brady might have been as disappointed as most West Ham supporters with the latest capitulation , but prefacing it with a picture that could have come from Marie Antoinette’s album is hardly the brightest thing to do.

Along with the co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, Lady Brady likes a bit of interaction with the masses.

West Ham’s top brass aren’t helping Slaven Bilic with their online activity (Photo: Action Images)

Leicester’s board give their fans cupcakes and beer, West Ham’s give theirs a running commentary.

Bemoaning weakness early in games, Sullivan, after the 3-2 home defeat by Leicester last month, declared: “We have to find out why we are conceding so many goals and fix it…”

It doesn’t take a fevered imagination to picture Slaven Bilic’s eyes rolling.

He says he does not have an issue with a vocal ownership.

From where most are stood, it royally ticks him off.

Why wouldn’t it?

Injury updates, form updates, pudding updates, you get them all from Messrs Gold, Sullivan and the Baroness.

Bilic’s men are sliding into a relegation battle with seven games to go (Photo: Reuters)

There is a valid argument that sees open lines of communication between fanbase and ownership as a good thing.

Agreed.

The owners keeping supporters informed of administrative and logistical developments cannot be harmful. A connection is good — but leave football matters to the manager.

Following that defeat by Leicester, Sullivan finished his analysis, as if Bilic had not realised, by stating: “The next few games now become vital for our season. We go to Hull City, then to Arsenal, before we welcome Swansea City to London Stadium.”

They have since lost at Hull and lost at Arsenal.

Defeat at Arsenal was the Hammers’ fifth on the spin (Photo: AFP/Getty)
James Collins and co are now just five points above the bottom three… (Photo: Getty)
….going into a high-pressure six-pointer at home to third-bottom Swansea (Photo: Getty)

Whatever happens against Swansea on Saturday, Bilic, it seems, will still be there.

Before Wednesday’s defeat at Arsenal, the board felt compelled to issue a vote of confidence as unequivocal as it gets.

“To end speculation once and for all, the West Ham United Board feel it necessary to announce that we have 100 per cent faith in Slaven Bilic’s ability to lead West Ham United.”

Why on earth was it necessary? Sullivan and Gold do not need to remind people of their loyalty to managers.

The irony of their pronouncements on footballing matters is that they ARE patient owners. That is a matter of record.

Even Avram Grant got that sort of backing – before taking West Ham down.

West Ham proved their loyalty sticking with relegation-bound Grant — but what if Bilic wants out? (Photo: Getty)

But what if they surrender to Swansea?

What if Bilic is actually so fed up with the public involvement of the board he wants to get out of there with a year’s money at the end of the season, regardless of what league they are in?

What if it looks like there isn’t a win left in West Ham under Bilic?

These are the type of questions the board will have to consider immediately.

In terms of timing, it is not entirely comparable and it is very late in the piece, but Hull and Leicester have benefited from the bounce effect of a managerial change.

They like the sound of their own statements, they like Slaven, but losing to Swansea will give the board a serious decision to make.

And it won’t be as palatable as chocolate cake and Cheddar.

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